Since its announcement, high expectations have been placed on Google Stadia, the service that promises to revolutionize the video game market by shifting the focus from hardware to cloud computing.
On paper, Stadia is genuinely revolutionary. It provides remote access to mighty dedicated machines that are much more powerful than the current generation of consoles. And even than the ones to come, because Stadia’s servers will be continuously updated. It’s the deal-breaker of cloud computing: if the user needs more power, Stadia allocates more machines.
It’s a big bet for Google that put in its hands a challenge representing a make-or-break moment for cloud gaming. Gamers’ audience is tough to please, and the first reaction to Google Stadia is a mix between harsh criticism and enthusiasm for the new technology.
Google Stadia Criticism: Missing Features At Launch
Many of the Stadia features announced at the time of the presentation have been missing at the launch. A lot of stuff is not there: social media and YouTube, compatibility with Android and iOS, 4G support, the Basic package for streaming up to 1080p, and real 4K at 60fps.
Many of these features were not present at the launch, and they will add in the next 2020. This caused quite a stir both in the users and in the specialized press.
The reality of the facts is the day the first accesses to Stadia have been made available hasn’t resembled a typical game platform day one. The news comes gradually, as classic updates in other Google services.
Google Stadia’s first days have been a sort of beta. However, this doesn’t mean Google Stadia is not ready to prove some of its strengths.
BizTech Staff has tested Google Stadia on (almost) all the platforms on which Stadia can currently operate: TV using the Stadia controller and a dedicated Ultra Chromecast; on PC and on a laptop, through the Chrome interface. Unfourtnetly, we were unable to test Google Stadia on smartphones because no one has a Google Pixel device.
What is surprising is the incredible simplicity with which everything works seamlessly, even jumping from one platform to another with the same account. The interface is simple and appealing, with a classic carousel of games on the lower part if played from TV.
What surely excites the most interest is the service itself, the overall state of the streaming, and the input lag.
Google Stadia: Connection Speed and User Experience
The first thing that will surprise you is there are any waiting times or it is reduced to the bone, which is not bad at all. You will never have to deal with updates. In fact, little is known about the release of updates both in-game and regarding the platform itself. It will probably also depend on the response that Stadia will have once placed on the market on its full.
For the Pro version, a connection with a bandwidth of at least 35 Mbps in download and 1 Mbps for the upload will be required. To play without major issues Google indicates:
- 10 Mbps video quality of 720p / 60FPS / Stereo
- 20 Mbps for 1080p HDR and surround sound
You can verify your connection through an official test on this page.
5 Mbs To 10 Mbs: Surprisingly Acceptable
Against all odds, playing at Google Stadia with a line that floats between 5 and 10 Mbs is feasible. On a technical level, Destiny 2 never exceeds 720p of resolution and operates a good series of artifices with regards to compression.
The problem, more than anything else, is to be found in the FPS, which never exceed 30 and suffer serious delays in the most hectic stages of the game.
The input lag, however, is null and this is surprising if we think about the connection used. Clearly it is not a configuration that we recommend, but it is still curious to underline how, in fact, playing with 5 Mbs with Stadia is possible, provided that one is willing to compromise.
15 Mbs: No Major Problems
The resolution remains at 720p, but at times, thanks to its dynamic nature, it also offers something more, nearing 1080p while maintaining medium details. Input lag remains null and playability is excellent.
Note: Destiny 2, like the other Stadia games, use different minimum / maximum parameters based on the platform on which they are used.
40 Mbs To 100 Mbs: Perfect Case Scenario
This means, in essence, that the software determines the conclusions from a performance point of view.
Destiny 2 for example with a 40 Mbps played on PC easily reaches its maximum technical splendor. 30 Granite Fps, Full HD and medium details, all aspects that are practically never affected and therefore guarantee a good level experience.
As mentioned above, before we get to a real Stadia review we want to do some more tests, on other devices and with other games. However, however, we are certain that these data, which are at least basic, can help you understand whether or not you can use Google Stadia in the conditions in which you are.
Google Stadia Controller
The Stadia controller deserves an in-depth analysis. It’s one the one device hardware (through the Chromecast Ultra) necessary to use the service on TV.
This is a very classic controller similar in some ways to other models in its price range, like Playstation’s DualShock. Anyone agrees about the good feedback on the symmetrically arranged analog sticks.
There are extra buttons, although, at the moment, the features are limited. The capture button takes in-game screenshots and put them in a section on the mobile app.
Later on, there will also be a way to capture videos, and most probably, you will be able to use that to start your live shows on YouTube. The button dedicated to Assistant at the moment does not work.
Stadia Is A Gaming System Designed To Save Users Money
When Stadia will be fully operational, it will be free and, with the purchase of a single game, it will be possible to enjoy it even on an old clunky PC with a mouse and keyboard. This is a great way to widen the audience even to casual gamers.
Shopping becomes a little more expensive if you want to play Stadia on your TV: you need 129$ for a Chromecast Ultra and a Stadia controller. But is not a requirement to enjoy the Stadia in other platforms and devices.
Without subscribing to Stadia Pro, you can play in full HD at 60 fps. A little note before coming to a conclusion. It is not possible to share the Stadia game account.
Although a Google account is already quite difficult to share, by logging in on multiple devices at the same time, Stadia will disconnect the previously used device. Stadia is not Netflix or Disney Plus and doesn’t want to be.
Has Google Stadia Ignited The Cloud Gaming War? Not Yet.
There would be so much more to say, but the truth is that the service is still in an early phase.
Sony and Microsoft had seriously feared Stadia could disrupt their gaming business. From the first announcements, it has seemed that Google had something big in mind, and Stadia’s presentation had made many believe that they were facing the future of gaming.
According to some reports, both companies had not wanted to be caught unprepared. So, they started to rethink their plans about streaming and cloud gaming for fear of the new competitor.
The launch and reception of Google Stadia, however, have been somewhat tepid. Maybe the danger represented by the new service has been overestimated by Sony and Microsoft.
So far, Google Stadia is not acknowledged as a real competitor. Next 2020 autumn, probably the choice will once again be between Microsoft and Sony.
At the same time, Google’s competition seems to have led Microsoft to work even harder on Project xCloud, as well as having turned Sony to make PS Now more competitive with a lower price and the addition of exclusive games.
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